Skip to main content.

Residency Reclassification

Initial Residency Classification

As a state institution, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth sets tuition and fees for undergraduate, graduate, and law students, in day programs (not fully online programs), based on residency classification regulations from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE) and the New England Board of Higher Education.

Initial determination of residency for tuition and fees classification, as part of the admissions process for undergraduate, graduate, and law students, is performed by Undergraduate, Graduate, Law or Online & Continuing Education Admissions staff based on the information provided on the individual’s admission application. New applicants may be contacted if/when conflicting or missing information/documentation makes determining residency status difficult.

Residency Reclassification

There are some extenuating circumstances where a student may apply for a change in residency and, with appropriate documentation, be approved for a change in residency status. Current or returning/readmitted students who believe they meet exceptions to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s residency classification rules can submit a residency reclassification by completing the Residency Reclassification Request Form shown below.

NOTE: If a person relocates to Massachusetts to attend a college or university, this action supports the intent to pursue an education, but it is not considered intent to establish residency for tuition and fees purposes. The DHE regulations state "residency is not acquired by mere physical presence in Massachusetts while the person is enrolled in an institution of higher education." To be reclassified as a resident, an enrolled student must live in Massachusetts as a "traditional resident" (not a student) for 12 months immediately preceding his/her enrollment or re-enrollment to attend an institution of higher education. Residency status for dependent students is also based on the parent’s legal state of residence regardless of where the student resides.

Residency Reclassification Procedure:  You must complete the Residency Reclassification Request Form (PDF) and submit with all supporting documentation to:

Law Enrollment Center
333 Faunce Corner Road
Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300


Electronically submit the Residency Reclassification Request Form and all required documentation to


Inquiries can be directed to the Law Enrollment Center at 508.985.1100.


Deadline to submit the Residency Reclassification Request Form with supporting documentation:

  • Fall Semester: August 15
  • Spring Semester: December 15

Applications received after the deadlines noted above will be reviewed and if approved will take effect the following semester.

NOTE: The applicant is responsible for the payment of tuition, fees and other financial obligations to the university within the prescribed deadlines while the review of a residency request is underway.

Frequently asked questions about Residency Reclassification

Most students do not qualify for a change in residency status once their residency has been established during admission.  Residency is determined through the admissions process, based on the information you provide on your application.  It is determined by where you were living 12 months prior to starting higher education in Massachusetts; or if you are considered a dependent of your parent or legal guardian, then where they were living 12 months prior to you starting higher education in Massachusetts.  You cannot switch to in-state residency status, for tuition and fees, if you moved to Massachusetts for your higher education only.

No.  Vacation property does not qualify someone for residency.  Residency is based on your permanent domicile. 

Yes, so long as one parent has resided in Massachusetts for 12 months prior to you starting higher education in Massachusetts, or if they have relocated to Massachusetts permanently due to their employment, you will qualify for in-state residency if you are a dependent of at least one of your parents.   You will need to provide documentation that will include your Massachusetts parent’s current mortgage/rental agreement and their last filed federal and state taxes (amounts may be redacted).  Additional documentation may be requested.  Note: You do not need to be claimed by the Massachusetts parent as a dependent. 

No, unless that person is your legal guardian.  Legal guardianship must be determined by a Massachusetts court for it to be official.  A notarized document allowing your relative to act in lieu of your parent for educational decisions/medical decisions does not establish legal guardianship. Informal arrangements with family or friends are not evidence of residency. Unless there is a legal guardianship relationship, you cannot be granted in-state status based on her residency status. 

Most likely yes. There are several U.S. military, veteran, and National Guard programs which may qualify you for in-state tuition status. You will need to provide documentation. Please see the Residency Reclassification Request Form for details. 

No.  Students on these statuses are not eligible for in-state tuition no matter how long they have resided in Massachusetts. 

A change to permanent resident will change your residency status from international to an out-of-state student, but not to in-state student status.  Becoming a Permanent U.S. resident does not in itself qualify you for Massachusetts residency.  However, you should review the residency regulations to see if you could possibly qualify for in-state status.  For example, if your permanent residency was based on marriage to a valid resident, you might qualify based on your spouse, or if you are a dependent student and your parent(s) qualify as Massachusetts residents, you might qualify based on their status. 

No, if you remain continuously enrolled your residency will not change.  If you withdraw and take one or more semesters off, your residency will be re-evaluated upon your return to school and could potentially change if you have established in state residency twelve months prior to returning to the University. 

Back to top of screen